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Old 01-09-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
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[FIC] Fire with Fire

January Tales entry...

Fire with Fire

He looked out of the transparisteel viewing bay at the wide, faded gold of the fields, the mist lightly blanketing the ground giving the scene an ethereal softness for the moment. It wouldn’t last. As he looked, he could just make out the wavering wall of thick black smoke that curled and pushed its way into the horizon, and though he couldn’t see the tongues of flame flickering at the base of the smoke, he knew it would be there, eating up the wispy grass that covered this planet.

He was dispassionate, despite the massive losses this planet had already suffered in the past weeks of this war, at the hands of the Mandalorians initially, but increasingly because of the raging fires that now burnt across large parts of the endless plains. There were large swathes of the world where the sun never rose, and he couldn’t help but wonder if they ever would. No matter. They had the Mandalorians stuck here. They couldn’t withdraw now without taking massive losses as they moved out, and he had dug his forces in much too deep for them to push them out conventionally. It was all necessary. All for the Greater Good, capital letters and all.
A field general, Maryk his name was he thought, looked up from a holoscreen in the corner of the command centre, and walked over and giving a quick salute, and was acknowledged with a quick nod.

‘You’re on the holonews again, sir,’ Maryk said, flashing a quick grin.

‘What are they saying about me? Anything good?’

‘Mainly the usual. The civilians are, as ever, hugely supportive. I believe I heard the term ‘hero’ at least twice. Senators are politely and reservedly grateful…’

‘Senators are politely and reservedly everything. Otherwise they wouldn’t be senators, they’d be people,’ he smiled.

‘Quite, sir’ said the general, smiling back. ‘Political commentators are fairly effusive in their praise as well actually, or as effusive as they ever are. The Jedi express their polite disapproval.’

Revan sighed. They just would not understand.

‘Thank you general.’ He signalled the end of the exchange by turning back to the window.

Polite disapproval? Nothing new there then. Sometimes he thought the Jedi confused cowardice for caution and pragmatism with recklessness. They wouldn’t accept that by entering this war, he had saved lives. In fact, if he hadn’t intervened when he had, they would all be speaking Mandalorian by now, and even made it so that some worlds could speak at all. Everyone knew what had happened on Cathar and Serroco.

And yet there they sat in their chambers, spouting their vapid wisdom and pseudo-philosophy to disguise the fact that they had refused to defend the Republic in its time of need, abandoning in the process one of their most important duties. If it weren’t for the standing of the Order in the galaxy, they would have been mocked and harangued by a public baying for blood.

But he had to put aside petty animosities, Force knew they were trivial enough. He had focus on the here and now, and the unfortunate reality that Eres III was burning and that they could do next to nothing about it, Xoxin being what it was.

Such a shame.

It wouldn’t be missed when they won the war though, and keeping a large portion of the Mandalorians locked here meant that the other army under Malak would be able to push the Mandalorians at Myrkr, and closer to the holes they crawled from.

Not that he particularly trusted Malak though. His apprentice had a brutish lack of subtlety, and sometimes Revan wondered if he wasn’t a hindrance more than he was a help. A great warrior no doubt, but still he wondered.
He wanted to be leading the invasion force, but just as the Mandalorians were locked in place, so was he. It was intensely frustrating, but he remained objective nonetheless. It wouldn’t do to give in to his emotions anyway, and it was a small sacrifice compared to the ones he had been forced the make. One world more world devastated would be nothing compared to the amount saved as a consequence. The Greater Good.

The smoke was becoming clearer on the horizon now, a solid mass rather than an indistinct blur. These plains really did burn. It created a curious contrast with the milky, misty ground between him and the smoke. He thought he saw the occasional flicker of yellow-orange light in there as well, the fire claiming another small farming settlement or wooded copse for its own, like some sort of hungry animal.

His wrist-mounted comlink blinked, and he reached over with his right hand to receive.

‘Revan receiving.’

‘Sir, its General Jana here. We’ve taken the Myrkr, but the Mandalorians left a nuclear device in the city, and it’s just a hole in the ground now. Estimated civilian casualties exceed five hundred thousand at the moment, though we expect that will increase. Mandalorian casualties estimated to exceed three thousand…’

As the Jedi general reeled off more numbers, the dead piling up in a figure with an ever-increasing number of zeroes, he had to remind himself of the Greater Good again. Jedi sympathies and false compassion getting the better of him again, he thought. Sometimes he envied non Force users. They weren’t expected to act as an example, they could just walk through their world of moral grey areas looking out for number one, whilst a Jedi lived in absolutes. He was becoming disillusioned with that galaxy view fast. After all, he considered, if he hadn’t taken the ‘shortcuts,’ as the Jedi charmingly referred to them, Coruscant would probably be a Mandalorian world by now.

The Greater Good.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:54 PM   #2
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Very very good. The story was interesting and very well portrayed from the third person narrator. The dialogues flowed nicely, as did the thoughts of Revan. I noticed only two or three grammar mistakes, so keep an eye out for them.

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Old 01-23-2008, 06:43 PM   #3
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Very nice.

I was a little confused over who was what in the piece when Revan was talking to the general or aide(?). A little more clarity would be helpful to distinguish who is talking and what are they doing. I had a hard time trying to determine if they were just watching the holonet or it was just a report brought in. It would help if maybe personal thoughts were circling in Revan's mind to help belay the mood that the political analysts never get right.

There were some grammar issues and in one instant there could be some changes done. In the paragraph after the line "Such a shame," you could have used the word Mandalorians once. The second time you used it I would replace with them since you already identified who the the them is. Other than that I suggest having someone beta for grammar and suggestions. Nothing that a good polish can't do.

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Old 01-25-2008, 09:10 AM   #4
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The piece is well-written, but I felt that it was rather short... More like an introduction before big things start blowing up etc:P Otherwise, it was a good read! Well done.

The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:10 AM   #5
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Much of what I think has already been said. I thought it was nicely written and gave a nice glimpse of perhaps how Revan may have started to fall especially so when he refers to the Jedi sympathies and "false compassion."

"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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